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Open Access What Is It Good For? Reflecting and Systematizing Accompanying Research to Research Programs

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This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY licence.

Implementing innovative research formats such as real-world laboratories can be supported by accompanying research. On condition that their specifics are observed, accompanying research inquiring into the processes taking place and accompanying research facilitating the production of integrated knowledge are particularly beneficial.

There is hardly any tradition of accompanying research to running research programs and basically no scientific debate dealing with this kind of research. The paper contributes to this debate by suggesting a typology of accompanying research based on the authors’ experiences in conducting such research. Given that its independence is preserved, accompanying research to research programs is not a luxury but provides added value. In cases where new or unusual formats of research are adopted, such as the format of transdisciplinary and transformative real-world laboratories, it might even be a necessity. The paper is conceptual. It discusses the special nature (added value and success factors) of accompanying research to research programs along the dimensions “research” ‐ what kind of scientific knowledge is produced?, “relationship to the actors” ‐ what is the special relationship to the other projects (and the funding agency)?, and “process-related tasks” ‐ what additional tasks can be incorporated? The accompanying research to the BaW├╝ Lab program will be presented against this backdrop.
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Keywords: accompanying research; coaching; facilitating dialogue; knowledge production; mutual learning; research programs

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2018

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  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

    GAIA is an ISI-journal, listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    All contributions undergo a double-blind peer review.

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